Jobs at Purchasing

People working at 50Hertz Purchasing have a good understanding of the challenges the company is currently facing. There are many - as 50Hertz is investing in the energy transition. In 2019 alone, 489 million euros were invested in grid infrastructure. These investments are backed by exciting procurement projects with a lot of latitude for purchasers who want to grow along with their Tasks.

The energy transition has changed 50Hertz from the ground up. This also applies to the company's purchasing department.

Why? Because the enormous investments in the grid infrastructure and in new technical solutions that 50Hertz is making as part of the energy transition are always also major procurement projects. Those who work in purchasing at 50Hertz have a good overview of the challenges the company is currently facing.

Naturally, the company is also growing as a whole, i.e. in its basic functions and its routine processes beyond all new projects. This places correspondingly greater demands on the colleagues working on Indirect Spend. A visible sign of this growth is the new 50Hertz headquarters with its open working environments at Berlin's main railway station. Incidentally, this was also a challenging project for the Purchasing department.

Another factor has had a great influence on the work of Purchasing: The ongoing economic boom in Germany is leading to bottlenecks that are clearly noticeable in the industrial context. Internationally, this situation is accompanied by the growing importance of power grids in many countries for the energy supply of the future. This means that there is also increasing competition among clients internationally in our core business. This makes new approaches to supplier management necessary, and so new challenges are created here for people who want to make a difference in purchasing.

Overview of past, current and planned investments in the 50Hertz grid. Graphic: 50Hertz

Organizational Overview

Following the main focus of purchasing at 50Hertz, the organization consists of the three teams Strategic and Operational Purchasing as well as Project Purchasing/Claim Management. This creates fields of activity that accommodate different interests and competences:

Strategic Purchasing analyses the requirements in the categories that are most important for the company in order to identify upcoming challenges on the market as early as possible and to find suitable strategic answers for them. Strategic buyers conduct tenders and negotiate together with the technical departments.

Operational Purchasing takes over the operational control of the purchasing process from the purchase requisition to invoicing and ensures efficient processing.

The Projects / Claim Management team accompanies the technical colleagues in the largest investment projects from the conception phase to beyond completion in order to pay attention to the economic opportunities and risks in every project phase and to take the initiative in decisive situations. Those who work here are directly connected to their "own" projects, but at the same time they also work closely with their colleagues from operational and strategic purchasing.

Elia Group Purchasing bundles all purchasing activities where we expect to gain advantages on the market and synergies within the group. This applies in particular to the procurement of electrotechnical material, business and technical IT, telecommunications, as well as procurement for major projects.

Examples of typical product groups in purchasing at 50Hertz:

  • In the context of grid operation and expansion on land (onshore): mast steel, conductor cables, transformers, telecommunications equipment or planning, construction and installation services.
  • In the context of network operation and expansion in the Baltic Sea (offshore): submarine cable production and laying, special ship operations, munitions clearance contracts, construction of offshore switchgears.
  • In the context of cross-sectional functions: Business & Technical IT (hardware, software and services), insurance, basic requirements, consultancy services.

Transparent processes

In the past few years, 50Hertz has restructured all purchasing processes in a purchase-to-pay platform (P2P, SAP-based). The goal was and is to create processes that ensure professional, rule-compliant and efficient procurement, especially in view of the increasing procurement volume and the growing number and complexity of procurement projects. This change has affected the working habits of many colleagues in all parts of the company and also those of our suppliers and service providers, as they now also work via the Supplier portal.

At the same time, 50Hertz ensures clean documentation of all bidding processes and thus transparency. Compliance is an important topic for a company that is the beneficiary of a natural monopoly and is active in a market regulated by the authorities.

Purchasing at 50Hertz in figures

Number of orders (07/2018 to 06/2019): approx. 13,000

Order volume (07/2018 to 06/2019): about € 1.1 billion

Number of employees in purchasing (2019): 30 (target: 36) (2010: 14)

Jobs at Purchasing